Xiling Gorge, Hubei, China

On our way to Tribes of Three Gorges we spotted another fun place, so second day we decided to visit the Xiling Gorge. As we stepped off the bus I needed a potty run, and the lady of the shop were I took my bathroom break told me that if you need to visit the park in its entirety, you need to start with another entrance. So she let her husband take us to the “right” entrance, where we bought a full ticket of the park – without knowing there were a lot of extra stuff included in the ticket (but her husband can get a very good commission out of it).

 

The first part was the monkey mountain, where we took a bus to another mountain called “Fairy’s Place”. Someone decided to scratch in the eyes and nose so it looked like a fairy.

Skinny tree with big spikes.

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There was a river running along the whole park, but they cut the dam and now the river is gone.

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Highlight of the park is the wild monkeys running along the park.

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“Stop feeding the monkeys!” the park rangers yelled at us.  Oh well, he didn’t like my corn chips anyways.

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On top of the hill there was a little monkey show, much like the one we saw in Tribes of Three Gorges.

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There were a lot more monkeys running around, scratching each others’ bodies.  Like this mommy looking for something on her baby.

Poor monkeys, we all feel sorry for these incarcerated monkeys.

There was also a cave up there.

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We decided to take a cable back, stood in line for an hour for the cable.

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Passing the trail where we came from.

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The cable took you over a mountainous highway.

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Second part of the park, we took the bus to a park right next to the Yangzi River, where it would take us to the tour boat. Apparently this huge place serves grain wine

Smashing.

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You can see Yichang, the city closest to the Three Gorges from here.  You can see its huge water dam branching out.

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Many joked that it’s a test dam for the Three Gorges Dam, which is just 40 kilometers upstream.

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Start of the Three Gorges.

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A boat that takes you into a cave.

But here is the more boring, general entrance.

Almost to the port, where we can take a boat.

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The port

With nice houses overlooking the Gorge.

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Xiling Gorge, and tour boats parked along it.

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Little gazebo sculpted in middle of a cliff.

Lots of hotels along the river.

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Welcome inscription.

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Apparently our full ticket included another boat ride where we get to see another part of the Xiling Gorge.  We waited on the wrong side of the bank for a while before taking this little boat, which dumped every tourist to the “right” side of the bank.  Only everyone has to get back in the line again.  

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After waiting in the right line for an hour, it was our turn.

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Nice mansions up top.

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We got there in about 5 minutes.

You can see people walking along the cliff.

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Continue our park adventure. We passed by an old fort, which was originally built in Ming Dynasty.

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Steep way up.

Grapefruits picked out by tourists from the grapefruit tree above.

Sculpture of Zhang Fei, one of the legendary figures from the Three Kingdoms Period,  overlooking the Gorge.

There is a little pagoda on top of the mountain.

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Up the pagoda.

You can see part of the the Gorge from the top.

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Next program, Three Visitors’ Cave.

That’s the part where you get to talk along the trail sculpted into a cliff.

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People can take a tea break if they get tired, but you have to stay tiny and short to fit in.

Near the end of the cave there was a bigger cave.

The stone across the cave looked like a lion with his arm twisted upward.

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The cave housed many inscriptions from old times.

This one looked ancient.

Inscription left by Kuomingdang (Nationalist Party, which fled to Taiwan in 1949).  Apparently they hid their offices out here when Japanese bombed the city of Yichang.

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New inscriptions covering old inscriptions.

There were a few fun activities in Xiling Gorge, like this long swing in between the cliffs.

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Evening, we stopped by Gezhou Dam, the dam inside city of Yichang.

Gezhou Dam, the first dam they built, before they built the Three Gorges Dam 40 kilometers upstream.

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